Commissioner Sawyer was appointed to the Philadelphia Fire Department in October of 1985. Through the course of his career, he has served in every officer rank from Lieutenant to Deputy Chief. In addition to serving in some of the busiest companies in the city, Chief Sawyer has served in staff positions as a Lieutenant in the Technical Support Unit and Battalion Chief in the Fire Prevention Division. In December 2013 he was appointed to Deputy Commissioner of Operations.
After serving 22 years in the United States Air Force Reserves, including four years of active duty, Commissioner Sawyer retired as a Master Sergeant in 2000. He is currently enrolled in the Naval Post Graduate School where he will earn a Masters in Homeland Security and he has been awarded a fellowship to attend the Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State & Local Government Program. Sawyer graduated from Community College of Philadelphia with an Associate Degree in Fire Science and from Holy Family University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Safety Administration.
Sawyer has augmented his academic accomplishments by graduating from the National Fire Academy’s Executive Fire Officer Program, the Carl Holmes Executive Development Institute and obtaining certifications as Fire Officer IV, Fire Instructor II, and Fire Inspector. He is also a Contract Adjunct Instructor at the National Fire Academy.
Commissioner Sawyer resides in the Northeast section of the city.
Fire Commissioner Derrick J. V. Sawyer